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Coconut-Banana Bread Pudding with Coconut-Caramel Sauce

Take a spin around the islands with this tropical treat fit for any occasion — it’s as at home on the brunch buffet as it is for afternoon tea, or to end your evening meal.

With a hefty helping of coconut and bananas, plus a rich caramel sauce on the side, this is a tropical take on traditional bread pudding. First created to use up day-old bread, it didn’t take long for this much-loved dessert to find its way onto restaurant menus — especially in New Orleans.

For this island-inspired pudding, use sweet, King’s Hawaiian rolls as your bread component. As with all bread puddings, you want to toast or stale the rolls, because after the moisture has been removed they’re able to absorb more of the sweet, flavorful custard base. Then, sauté the bananas in butter and brown sugar for loads of goodness. And to bump up the coconut flavor, use coconut milk, toasted coconut, and coconut-flavored rum. Finally, a sweet sauce is mandatory. With warm spices, bananas, and coconut, you’ll want to spoon this one over everything.


12 servings

Total Time

2 hours

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Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.

For the pudding, toast cubed rolls on two baking sheets in oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes, tossing halfway through.

Melt 4 Tbsp. butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ¾ cup brown sugar, 2 Tbsp. rum, and 1 tsp. allspice; cook until sugar dissolves. Add diced bananas and cook until slightly soft, 2 minutes, then stir in 1 cup coconut; cool.

Whisk together half-and-half, coconut milk, eggs, granulated sugar, 2 tsp. vanilla, and ½ tsp. salt for the custard; stir in rolls until coated, then stir in banana mixture.

Transfer pudding to prepared dish and let sit until rolls absorb custard, 1015 minutes.

Bake pudding until center is set and top is crisp and brown, about 50 minutes. Let pudding cool at least 15 minutes, then garnish top with macadamia nuts and remaining ¼ cup coconut.

For the sauce, melt 1 stick butter with 1 cup brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Whisk in cream, 2 Tbsp. rum, ½ tsp. allspice, and ¼ tsp. salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer sauce until it thickens, about 5 minutes.

Stir in sliced banana, ½ cup coconut, and 1 tsp. vanilla. Serve sauce warm over bread pudding.


To ensure the custard doesn’t get cooked, cool the bananas before adding them to it.


Stir in the toasted, cubed rolls until they’re well coated, start to become saturated, and absorb the custard.

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